Author’s Note: I never write stuff. (I’m not just saying that. I’ve honestly NEVER written a fic.) but I listened to Perfect approximately one billion times and I could not get this scene out of my head. Thank you sooo much to @wildegreenlight for being my kind beta and @jenn582 and @thefinalhorcruxx for being my cheerleaders. Without them it’s unlikely I would have bothered to finish.
Written to and inspired by Ed Sheeran’s Perfect played on endless repeat.
The song faded to an end and Ron pulled away from the girl clinging to his waist, looking down at her with a lopsided grin. He could hardly believe they’d been dancing since he’d impulsively whisked her away from Krum.
Hermione gazed up at him, slightly breathless, a question in her eyes.
“Follow my lead,” he winked, took her hand and spun her through the other dancers past the edge of the makeshift dance floor and out through a gap in the marquee.
After the suffocating warmth inside the tent, the fresh air felt brilliant on his skin as he turned to face her, “Hermione… can I show you something?”
Her cheeks were flushed from dancing and her curls were wild, escaping from the intricate updo she’d worn to the wedding. She looks perfect.
“Of course, Ron.”
Was he mental or were her eyes actually sparkling?
The sun had long since set, but the breeze still had a warmth to it. They slowly made their way through a field towards a small pond with a rickety dock. Ron hoped she wouldn’t notice that they were still holding hands or if she did, he silently begged that she wouldn’t let go.
Ron dropped himself unceremoniously onto the end of the dock, tugging his shoes off and quickly shoving his holey socks into them. He cuffed up the edge of his trousers and let his legs dangle over the edge, bare feet skimming the water below.
“Sit with me?”
Hermione laughed and slipped off her own shoes. Ron reached a hand up to help steady her as she settled down next to him. “What are we doing here Ron? I have seen this pond before you know…. many times.” She smiled up at him and playfully knocked her shoulder into his so he’d know she wasn’t actually upset.
“I… well. Yeah, no. I just…”
One hand went to rub the back of his neck and he took a deep breath, “I just wanted to spend a few minutes alone.” She arched a questioning eyebrow at him. “I mean, alone, with um.. yeah.. you.” His eyes flicked to hers briefly and then focused on the pond in front of them. He could feel the blush literally climbing his neck. Good one Ron. Real eloquent. Bloody ‘ell. Eloquent! That’s the kind of word he should be using. Not ones like ‘um and yeah.’
He felt her hand gently cover his, he turned his ever so slightly and his pulse quickened when she intertwined their fingers.
“This was a brilliant idea Ron,” she smiled at him. “After meeting so many new people tonight, the idea of being alone for a few minutes sounds wonderful. Alone… together.” There was that twinkle in her eyes again. He could get lost in her eyes.
As they sat there, holding hands in the silence, Ron gathered every bit of courage he had and started to slowly move his thumb across the soft skin of her hand. Hermione let out a breath he didn’t realize she’d been holding and her head gently fell to rest on his shoulder.
She’s an angel. I don’t deserve this.
He’d lost track of how long they’d been sitting together when the sudden sound of music from the reception broke the spell they were under and he quickly stood up, brushing his trousers off, “Suppose we should get back before they send the twins to find us, yeah?”
Hermione rose slower, trying to straighten out her dress. She looked beautiful in that dress. She always looked beautiful, but his heart near to stopped when she’d walked out of the Burrow in that dress. She followed him off the dock and onto the grass, looking self-conscious as she tried to tuck the flyaway curls behind her ear, “I’m a mess.”
His heart beat faster and suddenly he didn’t care if his mum sent every single one of his siblings and Aunt Muriel out to look for them. She looks perfect. How can she not know? “Dance with me.”
“Here?” she almost giggled. Hermione almost giggled..!
“Yeah,” he nodded his head towards the tent, feeling encouraged by her reaction, “I love this song.” He extended his hand.
She smiled at him shyly from beneath her lashes, dropped the heels she was holding in one hand and bypassed his extended arm to lay her head on his chest.
His breath caught. What the bleedin’ell was she trying to do? kill him?
“I love this… song too.”
Ron swallowed hard and wrapped his arms around her waist. They’d been dancing together all night, but this time it was different. Familiar and yet completely new. Intense. It felt, somehow more; dancing in the dark, barefoot on the grass, with her between his arms.
They swayed together, the soft melody of a song in the distance floating in the air around them.
Life was about to change, it was going to be them against the odds. He should be terrified, but Hermione was the strongest woman he knew and Ron finally knew what he wanted. What he needed. The girl in his arms, and he was not going to give her up. They’d be alright this time.
Ron stilled and looked down, Hermione’s eyes were closed but her face was upturned towards his and there was a smile on her lips. He whispered beneath his breath, “darling, you look perfect.”
Her eyes flashed open and his heart pounded in his chest. Had he said that outloud?
Her smiled widened and she raised up on her toes, her face inches from his. He saw his future in those eyes. He lowered his lips towards hers….
CRACK! The sound of someone apparating nearby startled them apart.
“Oi!!! Ronnikins! ‘Ermione!” the sound of Fred’s voice echoed from across the field, “Are you out here? Mum’s gonna go spare if I don’t get you two back before they start the next round of toasts.”
Ron took Hermione’s hand and smiled a bit apologetically, but this time he had the confidence to lace their fingers himself. Someday… someday soon.